Regulation of proinflammatory cytokines gene expression by nociceptin/orphanin FQ in the spinal cord and the cultured astrocytes.
ABSTRACT Peripheral inflammation induces central sensitization characterized by the development of allodynia and hyperalgesia to thermal stimuli. Recent evidence suggests that activation of glial cells and a subsequent increase in proinflammatory cytokines contribute to the development of behavioral hypersensitivity after nerve injury or peripheral inflammation. The neuropeptide nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ), the endogenous agonist of the N/OFQ peptide receptor (ORL1 receptor), has been demonstrated to play an important role in modulation of nociceptive signals. In the present study, we investigated: (1) astrocyte activation and proinflammatory cytokine expression at the lumbar spinal cord following intraplantar administration of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) in rats; (2) the mechanism of N/OFQ on nociception modulation, the relationship between N/OFQ and cytokines in the rat CNS in vivo and in vitro. The results showed: (1) CFA-induced peripheral inflammation evoked robust astrocyte activation and proinflammatory cytokines spinally; (2) down-regulation of cytokine mRNA transcripts by intrathecal administration of N/OFQ, the effects produced by N/OFQ were abolished by combination with ORL1 receptor-specific antagonist [Nphe(1)]N/OFQ(1-13)NH2; (3) ORL1 receptor was expressed on astrocytes of rat spinal cord; (4) cytokine gene expression was inhibited in astrocyte cultures exposed to N/OFQ, the inhibiting effects of N/OFQ were significantly blocked by [Nphe(1)]N/OFQ(1-13)NH2. The present data demonstrated that astrocyte activation and enhanced cytokine expression at the CNS had a role in eliciting behavioral hypersensitivity; the anti-nociception function of N/OFQ might be dependent on cytokines derived from astrocytes, the effects were attributable to the ORL1 receptor pathway.
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ABSTRACT: Nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) antinociception, which is mediated selectively by the N/OFQ peptide receptor (NOP), was demonstrated in pain models. In this study, we determine the role of activated microglia on the analgesic effects of N/OFQ in a rat model of neuropathic pain induced by chronic constriction injury (CCI) to the sciatic nerve. Repeated 7-day administration of minocycline (30 mg/kg i.p.), a drug that affects microglial activation, significantly reduced pain in CCI-exposed rats and it potentiates the analgesic effects of administered N/OFQ (2.5-5 μg i.t.). Minocycline also downregulates the nerve injury-induced upregulation of NOP protein in the dorsal lumbar spinal cord. Our in vitro study showed that minocycline reduced NOP mRNA, but not protein, level in rat primary microglial cell cultures. In [(35)S]GTPγS binding assays we have shown that minocycline increases the spinal N/OFQ-stimulated NOP signaling. We suggest that the modulation of the N/OFQ system by minocycline is due to the potentiation of its neuronal antinociceptive activity and weakening of the microglial cell activation. This effect is beneficial for pain relief, and these results suggest new targets for the development of drugs that are effective against neuropathic pain.BioMed Research International 01/2014; 2014:762930. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The neuropeptide, orphanin FQ/nociceptin (OFQ/N or simply, nociceptin), is expressed in both neuronal and non-neuronal tissue, including the immune system. In the brain, OFQ/N has been investigated in relation to stress, anxiety, learning and memory, and addiction. More recently, it has also been found that OFQ/N influences glial cell functions, including oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, and microglial cells. However, this latter research is relatively small, but potentially important, when observations regarding the relationship of OFQ/N to stress and emotional functions is taken into consideration and integrated with the growing evidence for its involvement in cells that mediate inflammatory events. This review will first provide an overview and understanding of how OFQ/N has been implicated in the HPA axis response to stress, followed by an understanding of its influence on natural and learned anxiety-like behavior. What emerges from an examination of the literature is a neuropeptide that appears to counteract anxiogenic influences, but paradoxically, without attenuating HPA axis responses generated in response to stress. Studies utilized both central administration of OFQ/N, which was shown to activate the HPA axis, as well as antagonism of NOP-R, the OFQ/N receptor. In contrast, antagonist or transgenic OFQ/N or NOP-R knockout studies, showed augmentation of HPA axis responses to stress, suggesting that OFQ/N may be needed to control the magnitude of the HPA axis response to stress. Investigations of behavior in standard exploratory tests of anxiogenic behavior (eg., elevated plus maze) or learned fear responses have suggested that OFQ/N is needed to attenuate fear or anxiety-like behavior. However, some discrepant observations, in particular, those that involve appetitive behaviors, suggest a failure of NOP-R deletion to increase anxiety. However, it is also suggested that OFQ/N may operate in an anxiolytic manner when initial anxiogenic triggers (eg., the neuropeptide CRH) are initiated. Finally, the regulatory functions of OFQ/N in relation to emotion-related behaviors may serve to counteract potential neuroinflammatory events in the brain. This appears to be evident within the glial cell environment of the brain, since OFQ/N has been shown to reduce the production of proinflammatory cellular and cytokine events. Given that both OFQ/N and glial cells are activated in response to stress, it is possible that there is a possible convergence of these two systems that has important repercussions for behavior and neuroplasticity.Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 01/2013; 7:173. · 4.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In the last decade, preclinical investigations of electroacupuncture mechanisms on persistent tissue injury (inflammatory), nerve injury (neuropathic), cancer, and visceral pain have increased. These studies show that electroacupuncture activates the nervous system differently in health than in pain conditions, alleviates both sensory and affective inflammatory pain, and inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain more effectively at 2 to 10 Hz than at 100 Hz. Electroacupuncture blocks pain by activating a variety of bioactive chemicals through peripheral, spinal, and supraspinal mechanisms. These include opioids, which desensitize peripheral nociceptors and reduce proinflammatory cytokines peripherally and in the spinal cord, and serotonin and norepinephrine, which decrease spinal N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit GluN1 phosphorylation. Additional studies suggest that electroacupuncture, when combined with low dosages of conventional analgesics, provides effective pain management which can forestall the side effects of often-debilitating pharmaceuticals.Anesthesiology 12/2013; · 6.17 Impact Factor